College students Noelle Lambert, 19, and Emma
Graham, 22, have a lot in common, from their goals and determination to the significant challenges they’ve faced. Each lost a leg last year—Noelle in a moped accident and Emma due to complications from a tumor on her heart—but neither has lost her spirit.
Noelle, a Division I lacrosse player at UMass Lowell and Emma, a Master of Education student at UNH, met at
CMC’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services where they take part in the comprehensive, interdisciplinary Amputee Management Program. Here, they turn to their therapists and to each other for support.
“Though they may not have realized it, Emma
and Noelle have inspired not only each other but also their therapists and other patients,” says Liane St. John, PT, who notes Noelle walked in her college hockey team’s ceremonial puck drop just one week after receiving her prosthetic leg. “Their attitude and work ethic propels them forward and encourages all of us to persevere right along with them.”
CMC developed the Amputee Management Program with
Next Step Bionics and Prosthetics, Inc., which makes cuttingedge prosthetic technology right here in Manchester, to provide patients long-term, coordinated care.
“The goal is the same for everyone,” says Next Step Founder and President Matt Albuquerque, “and that’s to feel whole again. But that definition is different for each person. Our job is to understand the person so we can design for them what allows them to meet their goals.”
Noelle’s focus is on the field. “I want to start running soon, but I need to figure out how. Right now it’s more of a hop
than a run,” she chuckles. Emma, whose hand function was also affected by a series of strokes, is planning to finish up her degree. “Now, I’m excited to drive again and get back to the classroom,” with help from Greta Rondeau, PT and Amy Quinney, OT/L, CHT. Certified Prosthetist Jason Lalla is working with them to get accustomed to microprocessor-controlled prosthetics that will put their busy lifestyles back in motion.
Both women are looking at full, independent lives
defined by their goals and not their injuries. “I
can’t believe how fast it’s all happened,” says mom
Judy Lambert of Noelle’s progress. Emma’s mom, Jennifer,
agrees. “Emma’s had outstanding physical therapy and
occupational therapy. She’s made such improvements. We’re
lucky we landed here, so close to home.”
To support these women's recovery, visit their gofundme pages.